Will Ferrell to Receive 14th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

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12 May 2011

Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will award the 14th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to stage and screen star Will Ferrell.

Ferrell, who made his Broadway debut in You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush, will be honored during an Oct. 23 ceremony in the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall. A host of artists to be announced at a later date will be part of the evening, which will be taped for future television broadcast.

The Mark Twain Prize, according to press notes, recognizes "people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said 'against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.'"

In addition to his work on "Saturday Night Live," Will Ferrell has enjoyed much success on the silver screen. His many films include "Stranger Than Fiction," "Winter Passing," "Bewitched," "Kicking & Screaming," "Melinda and Melinda," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Starsky & Hutch," "Elf," "Old School," "Zoolander," "The Ladies Man," "Superstar," "A Night at the Roxbury" and "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." Ferrell also played Franz Liebkind in the film musical "The Producers." He was most recently seen in several episodes of NBC's "The Office."

Ferrell follows previous recipients George Carlin, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Neil Simon and Tina Fey.

For more information visit kennedy-center.org.